RIDING HIGH ON THE SEA AND INTO ROME: DAVID K. BRYANT RETURNS

The Authors David K. BryantSite favorite David K. Bryant returns with an update on Captain Flint and hints at what’s to come through the Proust Questionnaire. Clue: You must cross the Rubicon to get there! Welcome back, David.

THE BOOK

Step up the gangplank to an adventure tale set in the 18th Century, when the world made its money from conquest and slavery, pirates were the muggers of the sea lanes and life was fragile – with violence and disease never far away.

Tread Carefully on the Sea is the first novel by retired journalist David K. Bryant. Packed with historical atmosphere, it will take you on a voyage from Jamaica to the “New World” of the American colonies. The Tread Carefully on the Sea cover pictureaction comes as rapidly as the horrors in a ghost train, starting with the kidnapping of an aristocratic young woman on the night of her 21st birthday party by Captain Flint’s crew.

Amidst conspiracy, murder, cannonades, bare-knuckle boxing, disease and a devastating storm, there is the chance for all the main characters to reveal the better or worse sides of their natures. This is a swashbuckle, yes, but it’s also a story about the strengths and weaknesses of believable human beings.

“I’ve written an escapist yarn in the tradition of high adventure but in much more user-friendly language than the old classics,” says David K. Bryant.  “It’s exciting, involving, a bit tear-jerking and is pure adventure and romance.”

Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1zs9ebu

THE CHARACTER:

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AN INTERVIEW WITH CAPTAIN FLINT

“Captain Flint appeared only in reminiscences in “Treasure Island”. I’ve given him a story of his own in my book “Tread Carefully on the Sea”. But he’s got more life in him than that. So here’s a couple of add-ons…”

Captain Flint, it’s good of you to give time to a journalist. Do you mind if I ask you some blunt questions?”

“Not if you don’t mind some sharp answers.”

“Okay, I see you have your cutlass there and I wouldn’t want you to answer me with that. Anyway, first question. Could you describe yourself?”

“I have black eyes and I’m told they’re quite intimidating. They’re on you now.”

“Yes, uh, they’re quite charming. Could we change the subject? I hear you’re quite a sportsman.”

“I enjoy archery. I’m a bit tired of conventional targets. In “Tread Carefully on the Sea” I shoot a man in the head.”

“Oh, that must have been in self defense.”

“No, I just wanted to make an example of him.”

“It must be hazardous being a pirate but I expect you get a lot of fan mail.”

“Quite a few ghosts seem to have a sneaking respect for me.”

“Well that is unusual. Who do you most admire?”

“Anyone who’s still alive after I meet them.”

“Um, Captain Flint, you don’t mind me being here, do you? I mean, I’ll leave if I’m taking up too much of your time.”

“Too late. We’ve up-anchored since you arrived.”

“Oh dear, where are we going?”

“Ultimate destination – Hell. But before that we’ll be making a stop at Purgatory.”

Proustian Questionnaire Image BIG

What are your thoughts on muses and do you have one?

Everyone has something in their head that no one else could understand. I believe in angels. I think I have some special ones who’ve helped me out at crucial times. That includes getting me to write books, rather than just think about it.
Characters have a great capacity to love, yet they’re starved. Why do you think this happens in fiction and in real life?

I think that we learn to restrain our feelings, for fear of getting hurt. We become too careful of each other. That may be worse for men than women. For example, when I be-friend a female on Facebook or exchange tweets on Twitter, I am cautious, lest she think I have the wrong motives. In all sorts of ways, we hold back. Fiction reflects true life in this. In fact, I don’t believe there’s any such thing as fiction – it’s just life presented in a story.
Without giving spoilers, would you say you’re a “happy ending” writer?

In my books it’s a happy ending for some, not for others. That’s because I start with a concept but I don’t know how the story’s going to end. I construct my characters and, as I go along, I ask how people like them would react to the circumstances. The characters often speak to me and tell me the answer themselves. That determines the next step in the tale and it goes on like that to the end. So their fate entirely depends on what they, or others, do. It’s great for me because it’s like writing the story and reading it at the same time.
What would you like to be remembered for?

Please arrange for my tombstone to be inscribed: “I tried.”
If you could dine with any historical figure living or dead, who would it be and why?

Elvis Presley or Margaret Thatcher. Elvis because he was a great wit and had a fun outlook. I’d persuade him to do a few songs after dinner. Margaret because she was one of the most visionary and resolute people ever. I had the privilege of working for her so my admiration was developed up close.
Past, present or future? Where does your mind dwell?

All over the ……. place. I do believe, however, in the motto: “Start from where you are.”
What informs your writing most?

My love of history. The pirate era of the 18th Century was the premise of my first book, “Tread Carefully on the Sea“. Ancient Rome is the setting for the second, “The Dust of Cannae“. Those two novels took enormous research. My third and fourth take place in the 1960s and 1970s and mostly derive from my own memories. Yes! – I remember the 60s and I was there!
Growing up in the Seventies, school kids were encouraged to think globally and act locally. Have you ever flirted with this philosophy?

If we want a better world, I think we all have to do the best we can every day.
Guilty pleasures: we all have them. What is yours?

I can’t answer the question “What is yours?” because “is” calls for a singular guilty pleasure. I have a lot. And I’m not telling.

(Good one! lol–ed)

Your greatest victory?

Getting my books published. And for anyone who wants to know why – it’s a fight. There’s advice for aspiring authors on my website, www.davidkbryant.com and I’m always ready to answer questions.
Tell us about the one that got away. Person, place or thing.

I would have loved to have been a musician. I tried, but unfortunately I couldn’t find the “pitch perfect” queue when I was preparing for this life.
What are some of the overriding themes in your work? Do you have a favorite?

The caprice of life and “revenge is a dish best served cold”. Favorite = fortunes always change.
Who do you admire and why?

Those historical figures I said I would like to dine with, Elvis and Margaret, plus:

Bill Clinton – what a shame he’s remembered mostly for Lewinsky. I once saw that man deliver a twenty-minute speech without notes or autocue in which he covered every major aspect of world affairs, displaying a deep knowledge.

Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan – effective campaigners as well as top entertainers.

Winston Churchill – the reason is obvious.

Homer – who invented the novel.

David Cameron – the best British prime minister since Thatcher, but we have a General Election on May 7th and who knows what then.

Are writers fully formed works of art or works in progress?

No book or writer cannot be improved upon.

www.davidkbryant.com

Best wishes from the author of the adventure book “Tread Carefully on the Sea” and the upcoming Roman drama “The Dust of Cannae”

And thank you, David, for stopping by. As a fan of the excellent HBO series “Rome” I look forward to The Dust of Cannae. Be sure and let us know when we can expect it. Meantime, I’ll content myself with old Cicero! Cheers!

cicero

TOMORROW: Author Penny Estelle chats it up with the boys from HIKE UP DEVIL’S MOUNTAIN, A Teen Novel and her latest.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPenny Estelle is a best selling writer for all ages, from the early reader to adults.  Her books range from pictures books for the little ones, to fantasy and time-travel adventures for ages 9 to 13. She also, under P. A. Estelle, has written adult stories including a family drama and contemporary, paranormal and historical westerns romances.

www.pennystales.com

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THE FUNKHAUSER ROADSHOW, DAY 9 WHERE I TALK SOME MORE, THIS TIME TO THE GOOD PEOPLE AT BOOKS DIRECT http://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com.au/

And let’s not forget about the #giveaway for Heuer Lost And Found!

Support the Headtalker Campaign. Spreading the word has never been so much fun! https://headtalker.com/?p=16442

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Thank’s all for your kind support. Best! ABF

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TREADING CAREFULLY WITH DAVID K. BRYANT

Solstice Author David K. Bryant

The Solstice family of authors are to be congratulated for their community support–they are always there for each another. I should know, becoming one of the group a little under two months ago. It’s been a whirl wind with a learning curve that at times threatens nosebleeds. I nonetheless carry on, because I’ve got good friends behind me with lots of advice and positive vibes. David K. Bryant is one such cheerleader, and the pressure to live up to his expectations is exhilirating, because HIS stuff is that good. Have a look:

TREAD CAREFULLY ON THE SEA

FIRST BOOK BY DAVID K. BRYANT

www.davidkbryant.com

Buy link: http://amzn.to/1zs9ebu

SOLSTICE PUBLISHING

 

Step up the gangplank to an adventure tale set in the 18th Century, when the world made its money from conquest and slavery, pirates were the muggers of the sea lanes and life was fragile – with violence and disease never far away.

Tread Carefully on the Sea is the first novel by retired journalist David K. Bryant. Packed with historical atmosphere, it will take you on a voyage from Jamaica to the “New World” of the American colonies. The Tread Carefully on the Sea cover pictureaction comes as rapidly as the horrors in a ghost train, starting with the kidnapping of an aristocratic young woman on the night of her 21st birthday party by Captain Flint’s crew.

Amidst conspiracy, murder, cannonades, bare-knuckle boxing, disease and a devastating storm, there is the chance for all the main characters to reveal the better or worse sides of their natures. This is a swashbuckle, yes, but it’s also a story about the strengths and weaknesses of believable human beings.

“I’ve written an escapist yarn in the tradition of high adventure but in much more user-friendly language than the old classics,” says David K. Bryant.  “It’s exciting, involving, a bit tear-jerking and is pure adventure and romance.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

THE MAIN CHARACTERS

Captain Flint is a lonely man. His education, intelligence and wit leave him isolated amongst the pirate crew who sail with him. He feels more affinity with the hostages who are brought aboard his ship but he becomes trapped by the need to escape the consequences of the kidnap and the challenge to his leadership from one of his officers. Flint kills and schemes his way out of several dangers but there are two threats from which he cannot escape. The first is the failing health that he refuses to accept. The second is the scale of his own success as a criminal. He will never be left in peace to enjoy the proceeds of his piracy. In this story we learn what finally happens to him.

Captain Michael Townsend is the model of a disciplined and dutiful Navy officer. He is also a man haunted by something in his past; something that could ruin his future. The decisions forced upon Townsend by the kidnapping help him to resolve his inner conflicts but jeopardize the survival of those he wishes to protect. Townsend’s instincts are to put duty first but will duty deny him happiness?

Jessica Trelawny is the spirited niece of the Governor of Jamaica. She hates the conformity of 18th century society. Soon after she is snatched away from her home she puts her rebellious nature to work against the pirates. Captain Flint learns to admire her — and to regret that she ever came aboard his ship.

Jessica’s maid Libby becomes a prisoner simply because she is with her mistress at the time of the kidnap. She plays a major role in the fight-back against the pirates. Does she bring into use special talents inherited from her African origin — or is she simply a very clever woman?

Patrick O’Hara began life in the squalor of the Irish famine and by a fluke became an officer in the Royal Navy. He is thrust into a vicious bare-knuckle fight aboard the pirate ship. Whether or not O’Hara wins, the legacy of the fight is a power struggle threatening the survival of Captain Flint himself.

The Walrus is the huge black galleon stolen by Flint from a Spanish captain. It has a pivotal role in the narrative and a heart-rending demise when Captain Flint’s voyage of crime comes to an end.

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EXTRACTS

**

As the shirt was removed, her eyes came level with a huge tattoo of an eagle on his chest. Ridiculously, that gave her renewed terror, as though the tattoo was worse than the man. There was certainly menace from the eagle. It stared at her, its talons outstretched and its wings spread wide. It looked prepared to pounce right out of his chest and claw at her face.

**

The cry that would have brought forth a dozen soldiers was about to leave the governor’s tongue – but remained unleashed as the pirate warned: “I wouldn’t do that, Governor, for the sake of your niece’s health.”

**

“Did you get the name of the ship?” demanded the governor.

“It was the Walrus, Sir,” the messenger replied.

“Captain Flint,” said Trelawny, and for the moment that was all he did say.

**

One of the stories that had evoked within the Royal Navy a sneaking admiration for the pirate chieftain was that he had captured a big Spanish galleon and made it his own. Now Townsend could see in front of him the confirmation of that audacity. The big ship sat on the ocean like she owned it.

**

“Britain came to this part of the world to find riches. It was very successful in doing so but it had a major problem. It was shipping around so many slaves and so much merchandise that it didn’t have sufficient military resources to protect its new-found wealth. So what did it do about the policing of its trade routes and the protection of places like Jamaica? It found it convenient to encourage the people you would call pirates…You had better hope that the King never turns against the Royal Navy in the same way that he turned against the privateers.

**

Reeling and with blood dripping down his face, O’Hara got up on one knee, then the other. By the time he was on his feet, Hugh was charging forward like a stag in the rutting season. Another head butt was imminent.

**

Flint bent his knees and placed his hands on them so that his face came level with Townsend’s. “That’s it, then” barked the pirate captain. “You don’t agree to my proposal. I don’t agree to yours. Our fates are intertwined.”

**

She didn’t close her eyes and her brain pitifully tried to distract her from reality by registering that the gunman was left-handed. His finger was going back with the trigger. Spontaneously, she said a few words of her native Ashanti. The phrase had been taught to her by Queen Nanny: “Do not fear death any more than you fear life.” If Libby was going to die, she wanted those to be the last words she said.

Tread Carefully on the Sea by David K. Bryant

Solstice Publishing

www.davidkbryant.com

Buy link: http://amzn.to/1zs9ebu

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DAVID K. BRYANT – BIOGRAPHY

 

I started writing fiction after retiring from journalism and public relations. I suppose the books waited their turn during all the years I wrote articles, features, speeches and promotional material for other people. My career included running a district office for a daily newspaper, helping to introduce professional PR into the British police service and promoting a major parliamentary Bill for Margaret Thatcher’s government.

I live in Somerset, one of the nicest counties in England, and am blessed with a wonderful family. My wife Stephanie and I have been married for forty years. We are proud of our two children Matthew and Melanie, grandson Henry, son-in-law Jamie and daughter-in-law Fleur.

 

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Tread Carefully on the Sea – the background

I was seven years old or thereabouts and I walked round the garden reading Treasure Island. When I got to the bit about the musket and cutlass battle I was so engrossed I walked into a tree. I was proud of my bleeding nose – I imagined I got it in a fight with a pirate.

What intrigued me most about that classic book by Robert Louis Stevenson were all the references to Captain Flint, a pirate king who was brutal, intimidating and quite likely an alcoholic – yet obviously very clever.

Without Flint there would have been no Treasure Island for he was the man who had buried the Treasure on the Island. Yet in that book we hear about Flint only in reminiscences from some of the protagonists because Flint is dead by the time the story begins.

Stevenson’s narrative tells us Flint took six men ashore with him to stash the loot. But, having apparently murdered the others, only Flint came back to the ship, giving him the security of being the only man who knew where the cache was.

There had to be a story around that. For me, Flint deserved a biography of his own. What’s more, it should answer all those other questions posed by Treasure Island. If, as Stevenson tells us, Long John Silver had lost his leg in the same broadside as Old Pew lost his ‘deadlights’, what were the circumstances of that broadside? And how come that Billy Bones, the first mate, came into possession of Flint’s map where X marked the spot of the buried loot?

It’s taken me a long time but now I have supplied my own answers. I hope you enjoy them and I hope you identify with the experiences of the other characters I’ve created when you read Tread Carefully on the Sea.

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INTERVIEW WITH DEBORAH MELANIE

Thanks to my friend Deborah Melanie for interviewing me.

Deborah is at     http://londoncatreviewsanddesign.blogspot.co.uk/

Can you tell us how to came to be an author? Has it been an easy or difficult journey?

It’s a journey I didn’t know I was going to make. I spent my career in journalism and public relations, writing reams of stuff for other people. During that time I made one attempt at a book, a pirate story. Many years later I read it to my young son. Then in about 2010 when he was in his twenties he asked to read it again. I was ashamed to give him the sub-standard original so I set about re-writing it. It became Tread Carefully on the Sea, which has now been published by Solstice. It’s my first published book – at the age of 68.

What motivates you as an author?

This should be a simple question to answer but it’s got me stumped. Hoping not to sound trite, I think I want to produce something that people will enjoy. I want it to be good in terms of making sense, being exciting, having some originality and a believable set of characters. I think it’s important to create characters who readers can associate with, feel their emotions, understand their faults – and like.

How do you deal with rejection and setbacks as an author?

I think I can boast that I deal with them well. I approached 370 literary agents with Tread Carefully on the Sea. But I wasn’t going to give up until there was nobody left to try. Then I started sending to indie publishers who took direct submissions and Solstice took me on. God bless Mel Massey-Maroni (my editor-in-chief).

How do you deal with writer’s block?

While it’s very frustrating, I think you have to wait. All of a sudden when your mind is totally elsewhere, you’ll get an idea of how to continue your story. I think it’s worth always carrying a notepad around and writing down thoughts whenever they occur to you. And if you can’t write at that particular moment because you’re driving or something, then keep repeating the idea inside your head so you don’t forget it.

Do you have any motivational books or websites which you find useful from time to time?

I am so glad there is a thing called the internet because it answers so many questions. Motivational books – The Odyssey, one of the oldest bits of literature around. It’s about a guy who spends ten years encountering all the dangers of reality and fantasy yet he never gives up.

Who has been the biggest influence upon your writing?

My dear brother Ray. He helped me get into journalism and he was an author himself. His main work was published in the 1980s and is still available from Amazon. It’s called Warriors of the Dragon Gold and is based on the Bayeux Tapestry. Ray died far too early.

Tell us about a typical day for you. Do you have any special routines which you strictly keep to?

I’m retired so my time is my own and a lot of it is spend hitting the keys I’m hitting now. I make a conscious effort not to leave my wife an ‘author widow’. But she’s very understanding and helpful with the books.

How have family and friends reacted to you as an author? Are they supportive?

Yes, they are supportive. They make constructive suggestions and have stopped me falling into a few traps.

Do you have a muse? If so, please could you tell us a little about him/her?

No, I don’t think so.

Going forwards as an author, what do you realistically hope to accomplish?

Recognition for being good. I’m not being conceited and saying I am good, but I would love the world to judge me so – and enjoy my work.